Looking back: Man causes explosion at Rigby High School and man drives car 'directly in the path' of oncoming firetruck - East Idaho News
Looking Back

Looking back: Man causes explosion at Rigby High School and man drives car ‘directly in the path’ of oncoming firetruck

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IDAHO FALLS — EastIdahoNews.com is looking back at what life was like during the week of March 18 to March 24 in east Idaho history.


RIGBY — A man was involved in an explosion in the laboratory of the Rigby High School, The Rigby Star reported on March 21, 1912.

Leland Hall was experimenting with some explosives — potassium chlorate, sulphur and phosphorus — when he “met with an accident which proved quite severe.”

He was mixing the substance in a mortar with a pestle and “evidently bore too hard on the mixture, causing the same to explode.”

The mortar was blown to pieces and the desk it was sitting on was shattered. Hall had a “badly burned and bruised right hand and his face was also quite badly burned.”

He was taken to Peck’s Drug Store where Dr. Anderson helped treat his wounds. He was later taken to his home to Annis.

“He was sufficiently recovered Wednesday to permit him to resume his studies in the high school,” the paper added.


IDAHO FALLS — A man drove his car “directly in the path” of an oncoming firetruck that was responding to a fire alarm, The Rigby Star reported on March 18, 1926.

The fire truck was “moving at high speed” when it went east on Broadway in Idaho Falls. As it reached the Cottage Avenue intersection, Melvin Cook, of Rigby, drove his “light car” in the firetruck’s way.

John Louthian, the driver of the fire truck, “swerved his heavy truck” down Cottage Avenue to avoid a collision. The paper said Louthian’s “quick action” saved Cook from serious injury.

The fire they were responding to was due to leaves burning in a roof gutter. Damage was slight, the paper stated.


POCATELLO — A student at Idaho State College claimed it paid to sleep through his lessons, the Idaho Falls Post Register reported on March 19, 1958.

James W. Porter, of Idaho Falls, said he combined his sleeping with studying and had “good results.”

“His secret is a tape recorder equipped with an automatic rewinding and timing device and speakers which fit under his pillow,” the article explains. “Porter records lessons which require memorization. The recorder plays back the lessons while he sleeps.”

The Post Register said the theory being that “his subconscious stores away data which he will recall when awake.”

Porter, a secondary education student with a major in mathematics, believed “sleep learning has helped him learn.”

“For a time, though, it cost him sleep. He wasn’t used to hearing his own voice,” the Post Register said. “He uses it when memory is required and only on his harder studies.”


IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls man was listed in serious condition at the Idaho Falls Hospital after he was allegedly shot by his wife with a handgun, the Idaho Falls Post Register reported on March 19, 1977.

Idaho Falls Police said George Head, 45, was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Phyllis Head, 47, was charged by authorities with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to commit murder.

“Police refused to release any other details concerning the shooting, other than to say the investigation into the matter is continuing,” the article reads.